Raise your hand if you think the name of these Chubby Hubby Cookie Bars are the cutest ever! That name was actually the draw of this recipe, considering I’ve never heard of such a thing before.
Turns out it’s actually an ice cream flavor from Ben & Jerry’s extensive line-up, and one we probably very seldom get in this part of the globe, or else I would’ve noticed. I’m always scoping out the Ben & Jerry’s selection in the supermarket hoping to get my hands on Chocolate Therapy. (Can we all agree that chocolate is the best form of therapy, people? But Half Baked will do in a pinch.)
Having never tried the Chubby Hubby flavor before, all I know is that it is primarily a Vanilla Malt Ice Cream with pretzels, chocolate fudge, and peanut butter swirls mixed in. That sounds like a crazy good time. Now enter the Chubby Hubby Cookie Bars. Basically, someone was genius enough to take the Chubby Hubby flavor and turn it into a cookie bar.
And the result is pretty damn amazing!
The vanilla malt flavor is captured in the shortbread crust, using powdered milk which can easily be found in supermarkets. (I use Milk Magic, but Alaska is also a good one, just more expensive.) The chocolate fudge component for these bars is also nice and milky due to the condensed milk, but smooth thanks to the butter. The drizzle of peanut butter goes on top before the pretzels are set in straight rows.
They may look like finishing touches, but the salted pretzels are crucial in making these Chubby Hubby Cookie Bars complete. It also gives you a contrast in flavor, cutting through all that sweet with a hint of saltiness.
On that note, I noticed these Chubby Hubby Cookie Bars can be a bit sweeter at room temperature, but they are delightfully chewy. Eating the cookie bars cold somehow helps to subdue the sweetness, but it will be a bit firmer to the bite. Your preference on how to eat this will come into play once you get your first bite.
If you want to make your cookie bars even less sweet, use more dark chocolate than milk once you get to the chocolate layer. The cookie base is amazing in complementing the rest of the components, and of course chocolate and peanut butter always go so well together. So I think it’s only fair to warn you: These are dangerously addictive!
- 1½ sticks (12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup milk powder
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 (14-ounce/400 gram) can sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ stick (2 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 6 ounces (170 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 32 pieces pretzel twist biscuits
- 1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease the parchment with a bit of butter (or using a nonstick spray).
- 2. In a large bowl (using either a whisk or mixer), beat together butter, milk, and brown sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla, then beat until fully combined.
- 3. Add the milk powder, flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly mix until the dough comes together into a thick but still spreadable consistency.
- 4. Spread the cookie dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set on a cooling rack to cool completely. Turn off the oven at this point as it will no longer be used for this recipe.
- 5. In a large saucepan, heat the condensed milk and butter over medium-low heat. Mix until the butter is melted and mixture is warmed. Remove from heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth and fully combined.
- 6. Pour the filling mixture on top of the completely cooled cookie base. Spread evenly on top.
- 7. In a microwave safe bowl, heat peanut butter for 30 seconds until it turns into a thin consistency. Using a spoon, drizzle peanut butter over the whole surface of the filling in whatever pattern you want.
- 8. Immediately press the pretzel biscuits halfway into the surface of the filling, spacing them evenly for cutting into 32 bars. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, before cutting into bars and serving.